Berlin man crashed car into motorbikes shouting ‘Allahu akbar’
The suspected perpetrator of a series of car crashes on a Berlin motorway on Tuesday evening has cited Islamist motives but appears to have acted alone, German police and prosecutors said Wednesday.
“Comments made by the suspect after his criminal acts suggest a religious Islamist motivation,” the joint statement from the Berlin police and the public prosecutors office said.
The apparently deliberate crashes, in which the suspect hit several motorcyclists with his car, left six people wounded, three of them seriously, the fire department said.
The Daily Mail reported that the man, named as Sarmad A, aged 30, had put a photo on Facebook of himself and his car before the attack. In the message with the photo he mentioned Palestine, and included the words “Allahu akbar,” which in Arabic means “God is great.”
The Mail reported the suspect was born in Iraq but later moved to Germany, and could have been influenced, while in Germany, by an extremist known to be a follower of the Islamic State.
There are indications he had psychological problems, the police statement said, adding that investigators so far had not found any hints that the suspect was a member of any terror group himself.
The Daily Mail reported that when one motorbike became wedged under the suspect’s car, he left the vehicle, began shouting “Allahu Akbar” and unfurled a prayer mat onto the highway.
Police arrested the suspect at the scene after a device in his car, which he said was dangerous, turned out to be a tool box. “Nobody come any closer or you will all die,” the man is reported to have said, gesturing to the harmless box.
The man, who prosectors have said was “hunting for motorcycles,” is now accused of attempted murder.
The Mail reports that a traffic worker who spoke Arabic talked the suspect down, got him away from the vehicle and managed to take him into custody.
The suspect is said to have been known to police in Berlin, where he lived at a shelter, because of earlier issues with his mental health and extremist tendencies.
Source: National Post